SCOTTISH seed potato exports broke through the 100,000 tonne barrier for the first time ever in 2010/11. Exports have grown by 30 per cent over the last decade and demand continues to outstrip supply.
However, the export of seed potatoes is still high risk for both grower and exporter, said Potato Council’s Mark Prentice.
“We’ve got to secure and consolidate that growth, and a lot of it is about existing markets,” said Mr Prentice.
Challenges in non-EU markets included changes to legislation in importing countries, rejection of seed potatoes at their destination, maintaining effective networks and contacts, and the variability of the Scottish weather and its impact on crops.
Robert Burns of SASA’s export liaison office said Egypt remained the major market, as it imported 40,000 tonnes per year.
Israel (10,735 tonnes), Morocco (8,692t/year) and Turkey (2,767t/year) were also important markets.